I was so nervous about this bread turning out as I had many obstacles on my path to its creation. First of all, there is no pumpernickel bread in my city! I went to three grocery stores and no one carried coarse whole-rye (pumpernickel grind) flour. I couldn't even find anything that seemed close. I finally just ordered it from King Arthur Flour.
Next, I'd let my starter sit for about three weeks without any refreshing. I figured this was okay, but I've been very diligent about my starter since creating this second one and wasn't sure how it would react. I also ended up having to refresh it twice because I didn't realize I needed a cup of starter and I'd depleted by starter by quite a bit. The day I went to start the bread I ended up just refreshing my starter again because I didn't want to use all of it.
I finally got to mixing day. I made the rye starter and popped it in the fridge after a day of fermenting. I had planned to make and bake bread the next day but life happened and I didn't get to it. So, my rye starter sat for two days. This is the first bread I've made that has used the usual ingredients of brown sgugar, cocoa powder, and bread crumbs. I made the bread and let it rise. After two hours it had barely risen. I hopped it in a slightly warmed oven to see if that would help.
Yes, the bread finally rose after 4 hours but at this point it was too late to get it ready for dinner and my evening was being upended anyway so I shaped the dough and stuck it in the fridge. This is the first time I've ever retarded dough after shaping without being prompted that it's okay to do that. I assumed it was fine but you never know the first time you try something.
And after all that.... the bread turned out great! It was dense and chewy and had a great flavor. At dinner my daughter said, "Mama is bread is really good." So a hit definitely! I'll be making this bread again for sure. I like it a lot and I have plenty of flour from King Arthur to use up.